Chocolate Stout Cheesecake
This super rich and decadent dark chocolate cheesecake is for all you chocolate lovers like me who can’t resist any dessert that has chocolate in it. For me it has to be dark chocolate. The darker the better - I don’t have a sweet tooth but when it comes to chocolate I can’t resist but I’m definitely more of a dark chocolate lover than a milk chocolate lover. This satisfies all chocolate cravings and not only does it have a rich chocolate filling but also a chocolate cookie base and if you want it to be a little extra do include the rich chocolate ganache over it. It’s optional but recommended.
Lets talk about the cookie base. Well it’s that simple I used Oreo cookies and butter and you have your base. This cookie crumb base is simple to make. You basically just crush the cookies into crumbs using a food processor or blender or if you have neither use the old tried and true method of placing them in a ziplock and using your rolling pin over them to crush them. Stir some butter in and then press into the pan. Easy and perfect for this chocolatey dessert. Chocolate wafer cookies would work too but I don’t always find them. I just saw some prepackaged chocolate cookie crumbs at the grocery store today and those would work too. You could even just use plain graham cracker crumbs too for a plain base with no chocolate. It’s totally up to you. I went full force chocolate with this one.
That amazing chocolate and Guinness cheesecake filling
My hubby’s fav part. This is where it gets fun because this is where we added the stout beer! Why you ask use a perfectly good drinking beer in cheesecake? Why use a perfectly good wine in sauces? The answer is they are both flavour boosters. They enhance the flavours in a recipe and add a richness to them. Like coffee, extracts and salt enhance the flavour of chocolate and sweets overall so does stout beer. You won’t taste the beer taste at all, it’s merely a richness that enhances my love of chocolate and deepens the flavours overall. Feel free to enjoy the rest of the can while you bake off the cheesecake.
Tips on making the perfect cheesecake everytime
Always use room temp cream cheese - softened cream cheese blends better with the other ingredients in the recipe. If the cream cheese is too cold, your mix will be lumpy, and so will your finished cake. Don’t over mix the batter. The cream cheese and sugar can be mixed well and for a bit but once you start adding the rest of the ingredients only mix until incorporated remembering to scrape the side of bowl a few times. I always do a water bath - I prefer it over the steam method. It’s a technique of putting your cake pan in a container/pan of water while baking. The water helps the heat disperse evenly, resulting in an evenly baked cake without cracks. Evenly baking and not over baking along with cooling the cake gradually also ensures that your cake is crackless. The cake should have a slight jiggle in the middle when it’s done baking. The cake should be room temperature before placing in the fridge. This helps prevent cracks but prevents too much condensation from forming, which makes for blotches and gummy texture on top.
There you have it - you are on your way to making a decadent cheesecake and armed with some tips to getting it right everytime. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below. The good thing about a ganache over any cheesecake or any cake for that matter is it covers a multitude of “evils” or cracks. So don’t beat yourself up if you get a crack or two. They will be hidden and don’t change a thing when it comes to the taste of the cheesecake. I still have some of this beauty in the fridge to excuse me while I grab a slice ad enjoy every bite of it!
Makes one 9-inch cheesecake
For the cookie crust
- 1 regular size pack of Oreo cookies (approx 36)
- 8 tbsps of unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- 12 oz dark chocolate, chopped (use semisweet for a sweeter cheesecake filling)
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup Guinness or any Stout beer
For the ganache
- 1⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chopped fine (approx 8 oz)
- 1¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap a 9” spring form pan really well in layers of heavy-duty tin foil at least 3-4 sheets and lightly grease the pan with non-stick spray; set aside.
- Make the crust: Add the Oreos to a blender or food processor and pulse until the cookies are fine crumbs. Dump into a bowl and stir in the melted butter, mixing well to combine. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing the crust down firmly and slightly up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes then remove and allow to cool while you prep the filling.
- Make the filling: In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate and heavy cream, stirring together until combined. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Mix in the sour cream, eggs, vanilla extract, chocolate/cream mixture, and guinness until well incorporated,scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pour this mixture into the springform pan and place pan in a large baking pan (with high sides) and fill the pan halfway with hot water; this is your water bath.
- Place cheesecake in preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit for 45 minutes inside the oven with a wooden spoon in the oven door to hold it slightly ajar.
- Remove from oven and water bath and allow cheesecake to rest on the counter for 30 minutes before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating for at least 6 hours. When ready to serve pour the ganache on top of the uncut cheesecake and place it back in the fridge for 10 minutes for it to set.
- For the ganache: Add the chocolate to a large, heatproof bowl; set aside.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium-heat just until it begins to bubble around the edges; about 2 minutes. Remove the cream from heat and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let the chocolate and warm cream stand untouched for 1 minute, then whisk it together until the chocolate melts and a smooth ganache forms; about 2 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated. Set it aside to cool to room temperature then pour it over the cheesecake, and let stand 20-30 minutes until set at room temp or 10 minutes if it’s in the fridge.